Latest Recipe Iftar Preview - Le Meridien Hotel, Abu Dhabi

It is that time of year when the Holy Month of Ramadan is almost upon us. It is also the time when hotels fine tune their iftars for that occasion. Last night I was invited for a Press preview of Le Meridien Hotel's iftar at their Latest Recipe restaurant. 

Latest Recipe, the hotel's all-day dining restaurant that was recently refurbished and rebranded, is a perfect venue for an iftar. The various seating options, including a semi private room for those who prefer more privacy during dining as well as pockets of seats around the restaurant, affording various degrees of intimacy and privacy, result in a dining area that is not too big, with capacity of around 160. I like this because one tends to get lost and feel overwhelmed when a buffet is just too big. Furthermore, the layout of Latest Recipe is such that you can dine without being aware that you are part of 160 people. 

Latest Recipe has cleverly allowed the iftar to fit into its normal concept of having distinct stations which are clearly marked and labeled for the guest's convenience. Rather than have many individual labels which can be a real eye sore, they have recalled the use of a single card which contains the names of all the dishes at that station. Impersonal? No, not at all. Each station has  a chef who answers specific questions about the dishes. 

An impressive aspect of the preview was the feeling of Arabia created by very tasteful decor. Lanterns on tables, majilis style Arabic cushions, beautiful oversized Dallahs recalling the tradition of Arabic tea and coffee and spices and dates strategically placed to add to the ambience.  Coupled to this was staff uniforms which all left one with a sense of it being an Arabic themed evening, and specifically in this case, an iftar.

How does one keep the tradition of an iftar with classic dishes like Lamb ouzi, Moutabel, Muhammara and sweets like Awama, Basbusa, and Halwat al jabel while at the same time offering an international flavour?  Latest Recipe has included an Indian station as well as a number of other international dishes to keep things fresh, especially for longer term hotel guests. Remember that iftar is the meal that is eaten when the fast is broken, and other than dates which is the traditional way to break one's fast, there is no reason that there cannot be a variety of non traditional dishes. Latest Recipe has managed this balance. It is a balance between respecting this meaningful tradition, while also showcasing something different. 

The Holy Month of Ramadan, where generosity of spirit is so beautifully illustrated, is something I am looking forward to, and as people look to break their fast, I can assure them that Latest Recipe will be an ideal place with its homeliness and warmth, and need I say, an Arabian ambience that will make quite an impression.

Latest Recipe Iftar

Le Meridien Hotel (Near Abu Dhabi Mall)
Abu Dhabi
02 644 6666

Starting around June 18

Cost: 125 AED

Brandon Stoltenkamp

Disclaimer: I was invited by the hotel to attend the Iftar preview.